Unilever, the owner of brands like Ben & Jerry’s, Lipton, and Dove, is saying “enough is enough” when it comes to plastic. The company announced it will halve its virgin plastics by 2025.
The announcement makes Unilever the first major global consumer goods company to commit to an absolute plastic reduction.
In 2018, the company used 700,000 tonnes of plastic for packaging. Now, they’re aiming to use no more than 350,000 tonnes of new plastic each year by 2025.
The other half of their production needs (350,000 tonnes) will be replaced with recycled plastic and refillable alternatives. Math is hard, so we made this graph. We hope it helps!
“Plastic has a place, but that place is not the environment,” Unilever’s CEO, Alan Jope, said in a press release.
Unilever has acknowledged that its products have contributed to the problem, and recognize that they’ll still be producing a large amount of virgin plastics. However, reducing virgin plastic production reduces demand for fossil fuels, so at least it’s a step in the right direction.
“Our vision is a world in which everyone works together to ensure that plastic stays in the economy and out of the environment,” Jope said. “Our plastic is our responsibility and so we are committed to collecting back more than we sell, as part of our drive towards a circular economy.”
To take more responsibility for the plastic they’re producing, they’re investing in waste collection and processing initiatives. They’re also participating in an initiative called Loop, that essentially brings back the days of the milkman and places an emphasis on reusable containers.